Belinda “Bindy” Hocking is an Australian backstroke specialist, born in 1990 in Wangaratta, Victoria. Hocking began swimming at four to develop her lungs and help manage severe asthma, but she quickly fell in love with the sport.
Hocking is based in Melbourne where she trains at Nunawading Swimming Club under coach Rohan Taylor and is studying primary school teaching at university.
After an impressive 2014 season and ranking number one in the world for 200m backstroke, Hocking suffered a chain of injuries that put her hopes of a third Olympics on hold. She accidentally set fire to three of her fingers, leaving her with second-degree burns and needing surgery. On her return to the pool, she dislocated her knee, but the worst was still yet to come. Soon after, she rear-ended a truck and bumped her head on the steering wheel.
Hocking took the beginning of 2015 off to focus on life after swimming and let her body recover. During that time she also underwent shoulder surgery to repair seven-years worth of shoulder pain. At 25, her return to the pool was very unsure, but she made a comeback at the US Nationals just a few months later to start her preparations for Rio.
Hocking first caught Australian Swimming’s attention at age 15 when she was awarded a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport. Two years later, she made her international debut at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Maui, USA. She won gold in 4x200m freestyle relay. She also placed fourth and 10th in the 200m and 100m backstroke, respectively.
In 2008 Hocking won her first of nine senior international medals at the World SC Championships in Manchester, England. At 17-years-old, Hocking earned a silver medal for her heat swim in the 4x100m medley relay. In individual events, Hocking placed fifth in 100m backstroke and sixth in 50m backstroke.
At the 2008 Australian Olympic Trials, Hocking qualified for her first Olympic Games. Still just 17-years old, she finished second in 200m backstroke to make the team.
2008 Olympic Games
During her Olympic debut in Beijing, Hocking joined her teammate Meagan Nay in the 200m backstroke final. Hocking finished eighth, right behind Nay.
2009 FINA World Championships
In Rome, Italy, Hocking just missed a finals spot in 200m backstroke placing ninth in the semi-final. In the 100m backstroke she missed the semi-finals also by one place, finishing 17th.
2010 Pan Pacific Championships
Hocking had a busy year in 2010. At the Pan Pacs in Irvine, USA, Hocking won her first individual international medal with a bronze in the 200m backstroke. She also raced in the 50m and 100m backstroke placing ninth and 10th respectively.
2010 Commonwealth Games
A couple of months later, Hocking finished just outside the medals in both her events in Delhi, India. She finished fourth in 200m back and tied fourth in 100m back.
2011 FINA World Championships
Hocking really proved her dominance in her specialty 200m backstroke in Shanghai, adding a silver to her growing international medal collection. Her personal best time of 2:06.06 was a new Australian record. She added a bronze leading off in the 4x100m medley relay with teammates Leisel Jones, Alicia Coutts and Merindah Dingjan. She also competed in 100m and 50m backstroke placing sixth and 20th respectively.
2011 World Championships 200 meter backstroke final
2012 Olympic Games
In London, Hocking appeared in the 100m and 200m backstroke. In the 100m, she posted a personal best time of 59.29 to finish seventh in the final. In the 200m backstroke she wasn’t able to better her result from the previous games, finishing 10th in the semi-finals.
2013 FINA World Championships
In Barcelona, Hocking continued her 200m success taking silver in the event again. She also competed in 100m backstroke with an eighth place finish in the final.
2014 Pan Pacific Championships
Hocking and her Australian teammate, Emily Seebohm put on a backstroke clinic at the championships in front of a home crowd. In the first event, Hocking took second behind Seebohm in the 100m back and touched out USA golden girl Missy Franklin by 0.14. After a day off, she returned to the pool for her main event 200m backstroke, this time beating Seebohm by two seconds to take the title.
2014 Commonwealth Games
After just missing out on the podium in the previous games, Hocking added two medals to help Australia finish second in the Games’ medal table. In 100m backstroke, she improved from her fourth place in 2010 to take a bronze medal. She continued her success in the 200m, again beating out her teammate Seebohm to win gold.
Preparing for Rio
After much doubt of Hocking’s return to the pool, she came back from the string of unfortunate injuries to compete at the US Nationals. Later that year she finished with two 4th place finishes at the Tokyo World Cup and a silver at the Australian Short Course Championships.
At the 2016 Australian Swimming Championships, Hocking pulled off an upset in the 200 meter backstroke to book her ticket to Rio. She touched out favorite Emily Seebohm by 0.1 seconds to take the national title and a spot on her third Olympic team.